Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Persuasive Techniques in Advertising

“Knowing how tell whether something is a fact or an opinion has long been viewed as an important skill…”

One of my favorite lessons to do (especially for an observation) is on persuasive advertising. I have used this on the elementary level up to high school level.

The following are 10 specific persuasive advertising techniques that advertisers use. Sometimes they use more than one in their ads.

1.     Bandwagon – You should join the crowd getting something because you don’t want to be the only person without it!
2.     Celebrity Association or Testimonial  - a famous person endorses a product. The consumer believes it is good just because this famous person says they use it.
3.     Emotional appeal – appealing to emotions such as  fear, sadness, excitement or happiness. These emotions have nothing to do with the facts of the product.
4.     Humor - Get the commercial to stick in people’s minds in a positive way and influence them into buying it.
5.     Anti-bandwagon appeal – Don’t be like the crowd. Be an individual. Think for yourself. It is okay to be different.
6.     Slogans – a catchphrase, tag-line, or word is used. People remember them, associate with it to some personal level and the product, and the next time they're out shopping, they're tempted to buy it.
7.     Glittering generalities – words have positive connotations attached to them. At times, it can also be vague in conveying the true meaning behind the message.  (words like "good", "healthy", "low fat", "home", "freedom", "sensational", "peace", or "tasty)
8.     Comparison advertising -  two or more products are compared. The product being advertised is always the best!
9.     Repetition - words, phrases, ideas, opinions, sounds, and even images 
10.  Plain Folks – the product is for ordinary people.

Purpose: Students learn to distinguish persuasive advertising techniques in order to make informed consumer decisions. By making better buying decisions, students will be able to make wiser decisions on how to spend their money.

Objective: Given 20 examples of advertising, students will identify the correct persuasive advertising techniques with 85% accuracy.

Essential Question: Why do I need to know how advertisers are trying to convince me to buy their products?

Time required: 1 hour

Supplies needed: several pieces chart paper, markers, magazines to cut pictures out of, construction paper, glue sticks

Before the lesson:
·      The teacher will cut out magazine ads that are an example of each technique. Some may be an example of more than one.
·      The teacher will cut out 2 ads for each strategy to use for the final assessment.
·      Make a large chart of the techniques and their explanations
·      Get 10 pieces of chart paper. At the top, right the title of each technique.  Hang these around the room.

Intro to the lesson:

·      Talk about advertisements and the ones that students remember.
·      Ask why they think that product is worth buying. List the reasons on the board.

1.     Introduce the persuasive advertising techniques and their explanation. (These are listed on a large  chart and posted on the board.)
2.     The teacher will show an example of a magazine ad for each technique. Explain the reason for choosing that technique. Using a glue stick, a student is asked to stick the ad on the chart paper under the correct technique.
3.     Students work individually at their desks. They are given magazines and asked to find ads that demonstrate at least 5 different of the techniques discussed.
4.     They cut them out and on the back of each ad, they put a sticky note with the number of the technique from the chart that was used.
5.     After all students have gotten 5, the students will share their ads with class.  Going around the room,  each student will have a turn to share one ad and the technique used. If this is correct, they may glue their ad to the matching chart paper. Keeping going around the room until everyone has shared their choices.

Individual Differences:
·      For those who have difficulty using scissors,  some ads can already be cut out. The student has to put a sticky note on the back with the number of the technique.
·      Students who have trouble reading may work with a partner.

Learning Styles: Visual (pictures of ads), Auditory (Explanation and discussion), Kinesthetic-Tactile (Cutting out ads and gluing them to the chart paper)

Assistive technology: Chart paper, sticky notes


Informal assessment: teacher observation of ads cut out and which technique was used.
Formal assessment: Students sit at their desk with an answer sheet numbered 1 – 20. Students will be shown several ads and they will write the number of the techniques on the chart used for that ad.

Students can find examples of TV or radio ads at home to demonstrate some of these persuasive techniques.

Photo by Jan Böttinger on Unsplash

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